Johanna and her husband both grew up in Richmond, VA. and when they started dating he was planning to sail around the world and she was going to move to New York City and become a famous interior designer. Instead they married, had three children and bought a cottage on the water for the boat. After 10 years of delightful weekends and summers at their cottage they moved there full time.
They transitioned easily from busy suburbia to small town life. Their daughter became an avid sailor - racing all through highschool and college. Their sons hunted, fished, and broke the golf cart (because it’s not meant to jump ditches) Johanna realized quickly that she’d landed in a painter’s paradise and began to turn her lifelong passion for painting into a profession. Her husband kept that old boat going and has sailed on many long journeys. The kids have grown up and visit frequently on the weekends. Lucy and Hoss, their two yellow labs keep them company.
Johanna grew up in an artistic family of painters, carpenters, and metal workers. Her father made elaborate benches, birdhouses, and also brick paths and walls for her mother’s extensive garden filled with roses and perennials. Their childhood summers and weekends were often spent at home helping in the garden. Every other summer Johanna and her family would visit her grandparents in the Isle of Man. These summer visits were filled with hikes to highlands with vistas of hills and the distant sea or walks through glens to a stony beach.
Johanna began her formal art training as an architecture student at UVa. where she majored in Architectural History. After a summer in a program in Vicenza, Italy, Johanna began her habit of keeping a sketchbook. While working on a post college interior design degree, Johanna learned how to create watercolor renderings. This ignited her passion for painting - she still describes the thrill of putting down that inky black mark on the pure white paper. Her first subjects were old buildings and then a series of chairs. She craved ways to get more vibrant colors and create bigger pieces than watercolor would allow, so it wasn’t long before she moved to painting in oil. In the last years or so, Johanna has been using a palette knife to help layer on big areas of paint. She works in watercolor - often as a way to create a study.
Johanna’s been exhibiting her work locally and now nationally through, The Poppy Society. She is always thrilled when something in her work touches someone and makes them happy.